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Izzy Hagbah [Paperback]

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Item description for Izzy Hagbah by Ari Binus J. J. Gross...

Izzy Hagbah by Ari Binus J. J. Gross

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Item Specifications...

Pages   37
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.1" Width: 8.1" Height: 0.2"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 30, 2005
Publisher   Simcha Media Group (NJ)
ISBN  1932687394  
ISBN13  9781932687392  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > Religions > Fiction > Jewish
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Children's Books > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Izzy Hagbah?

Izzy Hagbah  Jan 4, 2007
In a small Hasidic shul in Brooklyn, a strange man known only as Izzy comes every Shabbos and Yom Tov to perform the special honor of unrolling and lifting the Torah. After many years, and despite his old age and weakened physical state, he demands to continue to perform hagbah until one Yom Kippur morning he collapses and dies with the Torah crashing down onto the floor on top of him. But, a magical, mysterious event occurs: Izzy's spirit floats above the congregation along with all of the letters and words from the Torah, leaving the scroll completely blank.
A poorly edited, unnecessary narrator weighs down and interrupts the story. And while the narrator admits that no one in the congregation ever asked Izzy his last name, where he lived, or what he did for living, and no one ever invited him for a Shabbos or holiday meal because he was different from them - "he dressed differently . . . he spoke English . . . he wore a strange yarmulke and a funny tallis . . . he just wasn't one of us" - the insensitive, prejudiced, and unwelcoming behavior of the congregants is left unexplored leaving the story with no real moral or message. The illustrations by Ari Binus (Hayyim's Ghost) successfully capture the setting, mood, and characters of the story. However, Jewish terms and rituals are never explained, further limiting the audience of this interesting story that fails to reach its full potential.
Reviewed by Rachel Kamin
if only we all had his strength and commitment  Dec 28, 2005
Have the Jews kept the laws of the Torah, or has the Torah kept the Jews? I am reminded of the story of the young Jewish author in SF, Alan Kaufman, who was recruited by the members of their aging shul to be their designated hagbah, since few other had the strength to lift their Torah. We are all endowed with various skills and strengths, and we must choose how to apply them. Maybe u know a shtarker person, a strong person with a strong heart as well. The book opens with a Sofer telling an assembly of children the story of Izzy. Izzy was a short, very powerful man, who dressed differently than the neighborhood Hasidim in Brooklyn. Izzy had a skill: it was hagbah. The book tells the story of a Hasidic congregation that accepts this powerful man who wore blue shirts instead of white, a kippah instead of a hat, and prayed differently. They didn't know his surname, never invited him home for a meal, but they sort of welcomed Izzy as their hagbah. As Izzy ages and his strength weakens and trembles, the shul worries (for him or for their bellies? hmmmm).. until one Yom Kippur....
Izzy Hagbah  Dec 14, 2005
Izzy Hagbah is a wonderful hero for children of all ages. His personal and steadfast commitment to the Torah will be an inspiration to all who read this book. What a beautifully written and illustrated story. A welcome addition to Jewish children's literature.
A compelling story for children as well as adults  Dec 3, 2005
This is an extremely moving story that will be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Although the story is rich in its references to Jewish tradition, the story is accessible to everyone, regardless of background (including those who are not Jewish). It is an extremely powerful story that guarantees an emotional response from its readers.

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